Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Modern Combat The Combat Space Crackpot Mailbox
The Madness of Prize Fighting
Crack Man And the Crackpot Discuss Mighty George Foreman and Slighted Axel Schulz #1
Hello Mr LaFond,
as you are someone more literate and knowledgeable about the world of (prize-)fighting than me, I am interested in your opinion. I was born in the 90s in Germany and at the time I grew up boxing wasn´t really popular, except maybe some of the Klitschko Fights. And until now I didn’t even know, that George Foreman came back at the impressive age of 45, knocking out Michael Moorer, becoming the oldest Heavy Weight Champ. So, after that victory, for the first title defense, he or his management or whoever, decided to find easy prey. So, they choose (fellow) German Boxer Axel Schulz as his victim. But that dude wasn´t even in the rankings, but with just enough money the promoters could bribe some of the highest boxing officials of the IBF to let the fight happen.
Although the fight should’ve been easy, the prey fought back harder than expected and Foreman could hardly put on the sunglass afterwards with all that swelling on his eye socket. Interestingly the result was very controversial, with some saying Schulz did outscore, landed the cleaner better shots and was more active and effective, while others are saying he couldn’t even knock that grandpa out and foreman was the one marching forward (although I am not convinced on that one, why should that matter in a fight or boxing match besides maybe suggesting some form of dominance?). [1]
Schulz was clearly disappointed, but later on acceptingly said: "Well, I didn’t knock him out, if you fight in America against such a legend, you have to knock him out and leave no doubt."
As you tend more to the pure fighting side, than on the "boxing, the noble art" side - how do you see such a fight? [2]
I believe one of the Klitschkos said something on the line of: "The only real victory is a knockout"
Although that’s not very respectful, when 2 warriors battled it out for 12 Rounds and both are still standing. Is there only conscious or unconscious, only life or death or can we acknowledge a victory found somewhere in between? [3]
Although many fighters are very eager not leaving it at the mercy of score judges, they will not always succeed in doing so. And in prize fighting the watching folks want a winner and a loser.

Crack Man, you have asked a question—posed a dilemma rather—that speaks to the question of purity of combat and its perception by the non-combatant, which are in fact to opposing perspectives, one tending to negate the other. I will speak to this and then, tomorrow, watch the fight and score it round-by-round. I never saw the fight and should.
I will hit your questions in the order posed, as notated above:
-1. Scoring aggression in boxing.
Scoring boxing is difficult because we see it from different angles, especially the judges, who see it from 3 distinct angles not shared by the ringside commentator who announces from an unseen angle in terms of judging. We are supposed to watch the space between the fighters. But we will usually watch a fighter from an empathetic state. One of the aspects of scoring is called “ring generalship.” Since most judges never even fought, they will tend to either award clowning and dancing as ring generalship, in the spirit of Ali, or just pure aggression, since the actual methodology of boxing eludes them. Then there is the corruption. The best way to score a boxing match, in terms of appreciating it as a survival fight surrogate, is to award a round to a fighter who has obviously damaged or shaken his foe and to award draws whenever there is not a clear favorite, which is not going to please the crowd, who want a loser more than they want a victor, especially a modern crowd. Crowds hate draws for the simple fact that they came to see a defeat, not a victory. In my opinion, if neither man goes down for the count, it should be a draw with notes on injuries, keeping in mind that the ultimate psychological injury of the KO—to avoid it—is worth much physical injury. I would also give double credit to the man rising from the knockdown than I would give to he who knocked them down, as to me, boxing is first and foremost a crucible of the will, a place where we pressurize and test our essence as men in combat. I feel the same way—yes, feel—about stick fighting. Blade fighting is a more technical matter. The European tendency to look for decision victories in boxing is, I think, a holdover from sword dueling [which was the origin of boxing in Europe], and the American tendency to seek the KO is a holdover from street crime incubator for boxing in America, which was largely facilitated by gangs putting forth their champion, where in Europe a rich man would sponsor a champion as an avatar.
-2. Schulz spoke wisely and I now want to see this fight based on that quote. Look, the name fighter is the mountain and the opponent is the climber. The boxing machine is geared towards making money, so the man without the name has a higher order than the name fighter, who brings the money for both. Ali probably won 3 decisions that should have been losses or draws, because he was “The Man.” I recall Mister Frank chewing me out at the gym for working too much evasive footwork, reminding me that he ran a predominantly “white” team in a “black” town and that his fighters would never win a decision, and had to win by KO. Now, the KO can be achieved without being unconscious, indeed, the 4 times I was KO’d in boxing I was conscious and lost to disabling body shots. The definition is inability to intelligently defend. I actually got KO’d in 2 stick fights that I won while unconscious of the victory. Tyson—not to compare my weak-ass to that hero—was unconscious for I think 7 rounds of the first Holyfield fight. So it is not about being unconscious, it is about WILL.
-3. The dilemma of victory
I have a friend who has not been in a fight outside of Karate settings, who believes that avoiding injury is the goal of self-defense. He is quite horrified when I recount gruesome beatings I have sustained with pride, him noting that I was defeated because I suffered more physical hurt, but me feeling liberated from my body and being flush with the sense that my will rose above my body to impose itself on my attacker or opponent. These are two different things. Again, we are talking about the definition of victory as defined on one hand by an upper-class duel and on the other by gutter-stomping crime. Both are victories of a sort, one moral and one technical. I have a problem only with the technical victory being awarded moral status as my friend does with a moral victory being awarded technical status.
It is my belief, that the thirst of the spectator—who is the financially facilitating and morally corrupting agent of the combat—for a loser, to see a man better than they [and better by a vast margin] go down in defeat, is the reason why our idea of victory has been corrupted. I believe that the draw is the best outcome for a fight that does not drive one man to the floor or compel him to quit. My reasoning is this, that when two champions—and I dislike the modern ideal of the champion as singular and exclusive, as both fighters are champions of their causes and gyms—fight to a draw, that they not only affirm each other’s quality without negation, but, most importantly, they crush the hopes of the sedentary sissy at ringside or before his TV screen who had been thirsting to see a real man go down in defeat while he snacked and drank and propped up his feet.
Crack man, thanks for taking us here.
I will view the fight soon and post an article on it next week.
prev:  ‘Point Deception'     ‹  modern combat  ›     next:  The Jab
the combat space
logic of steel
logic of force
the gods of boxing
by the wine dark sea
yusef of the dusk
Add Comment